We find ourselves in-between seasons with our lucerne tree seed stocks.
Currently, our previous seed harvests from 2020 / 2021 have hardened due to natural ageing in the hot, dry summer season, and our germination results are no longer as high as we would like them to be. In our latest trials, we have had lower germination rates and the process has taken longer than normal.
This month, January 2022, we harvested our lucerne tree seeds. We hand-picked, sifted, and packaged our newest lucerne tree seeds, but these seeds will not germinate as readily at this stage as the seeds are too fresh and need a few months to mature. Some of the seed germ (the little beige tips where the roots and leaves emerge) is still a little green.
In nature, around this time of year, when the seed pods on the tree turn brown and dry out, the pods twist, split and pop open and the lucerne tree seeds fall out of their pods onto the ground around the mother tree. Here, these seeds lie in the soil during the hot, dry summer months. Remember that lucerne trees are native to the Canary Islands which enjoys a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and cold, rainy winters. After about 5 months of exposure to the elements, and when the winter rains begin to fall, these fallen seeds start to germinate. Just a quick note – although these volunteer seeds may come up, most do not make it to maturity as insects and animals graze and eat them before they grow into trees.
When you receive your latest lucerne tree seeds from us, we recommend that you hold these 2022 seeds in a cool, dry, dark place until May 2022 and only then begin your germination process as described. The seeds will be fine kept in their little zip-bag, and then placed in a labelled paper bag, stored indoors, in a cool, dry cupboard.
In the meantime, for clients who still have some of our older seed stock, we recommend that you still germinate your seeds, but wait a little longer for those seeds to come up.
Our sincere wish is that our clients enjoy every success in their lucerne tree farming, so please contact us on our Orders page with any questions, quotes or orders, and we will do our best to assist you.